Nilesh Kumar Markam is seven years old. A very intelligent boy, he is filled with dreams and ambitions. However, his poverty-stricken background and the distance from school are impediments to his achieving his goals. Nilesh lives in a village that comprises 45 households, including his. The total population of the village is 235 people. His mother, abandoned by her husband, has to struggle to bring up her four children. Without any regular source of income or even agricultural land, she manages to sustain her family on her meagre earnings from selling firewood or collecting mahwa from the forest.
The school in Sarai Tola is two miles away from the Nilesh’s home in Chhinditola. Even though Nilesh would have liked to attend school regularly, the distance and his family’s financial problems meant that that was not possible. If he did come to school in the morning, he was not able to return home to have his mid-day meal and had to remain hungry throughout the day. Sometimes, he had to go with his mother to collect mahwa and firewood, or they would have no money to buy food for the day. All these issues had almost killed Nilesh’s enthusiasm to study.
It was then that the Aide et Action (AeA) team interacted with the community. The interaction made them realise that the children in the community had an interest in education and a love for learning that made it imperative for them to open an ‘Anand Ghar’ in Chhinditola.
Once the Anand Ghar was opened, the team also provided a volunteer who would teach the children. Now even if Nilesh could not attend regular school, he could still learn on his own, and forge a path to achieve his life goals. “My dreams and ambitions would have been wiped off, if the AeA team had not intervened,” says Nilesh.